A plant based diet has grown in popularity in recent years due to the increasing emphasis on environmental sustainability and living an ethical lifestyle. It is widely known that those who swap to a vegan or vegetarian diet can benefit physically, lowering the risk of heart disease, stroke and cancer. However, a plant based lifestyle can result in facing nutritional challenges such as ensuring your body receives a substantial amount of Iron and Vitamin B12. Once these challenges have been overcome, the positive influence on mind set as well as mental health and wellbeing is endless.
Reduce Chance of Depression
Research shows that vegan and vegetarian individuals, are often happier than their meat eating friends. The Nutritional Journal found that those following a plant based diet, scored lower on depression tests and over all had a happier mood profile compared to their meet eating counterparts. Research noted this could be because a plant based diet eliminates the consumption of long chain fatty acids which is present in meat and can be associated with depression.
A plant based diet helps individuals consume a higher level of vitamins compared to a meat eating diet, resulting in a lower chance of having to fight illnesses, disease and combating with mental health issues. Two of the vitamins that can impact your mood are Vitamin C and Vitamin E. Vitamin C helps boost your immune system and stimulates the production of white blood cells ensuring your body can fight unwanted illnesses whilst Vitamin E helps to fight off infection. The consumption of both vitamins, lowers the chance of illness resulting in a happier mood all of the time. We all know that when you feel ill, you can also feel worn out, tired and miserable, therefore ensuring the consumption of these vitamins means you are less likely to experience negative wellbeing.
Improvement in Sleep Pattern
Having a plant based diet means you will have an increased consumption of vitamins such as magnesium and calcium, which as a result could impact your sleeping pattern, helping to create a more regulated and effective sleeping routine. Everyone is aware that having a rubbish night sleep can affect your mood therefore the consumption of magnesium can help this, adding another benefit of opting to start a plant based lifestyle. Foods with high magnesium levels include spinach, pumpkin seeds and avocados, all easy ingredients to put into a healthy and tasty salad.
Decrease in Stress Levels
An improvement in your physical health is one of the main attractions of swapping to a plant based diet. A vegan lifestyle can help lower blood pressure, cholesterol and weight resulting in an overall healthier feeling. As a result of this, research suggests this can lead to a reduction in stress and anxiety. A plant based lifestyle will include consuming calcium, magnesium and vitamin B, all vitamins that have been linked to lower stress levels. The Nutritional Journal found that individuals began to see results after two weeks, showing that a plant based diet can turnaround quick benefits.
Increase in Energy
If you are deciding whether to adopt a plant based diet, I cannot guarantee this benefit will be noticeable instantly however once you have adopted a vegan diet for a considerable amount of time, you may begin to feel a lot happier and as a result have more energy. People on a plant based diet are often more conscious of their health, resulting in them consuming foods that provide an increased level of energy. Individuals who follow a vegan diet are often more active and likely to take care of their bodies. The combination of both nutrients and exercise can result in improvement of joint and bone health and a reduction in the risk of type 2 diabetes.
If you are considering changing to a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle, it’s important to have core reasons behind it, so it is easy to remind yourself about the purpose of your decision. The vegan lifestyle can be hard for some to adopt, however changing a few meals in your week, is definitely a great way to start. Always remember there are so many benefits to following a plant based diet aside from just your physical health. The impact a vegan diet can have on your mood alone is such a huge benefit of the lifestyle. A happier person results in a happier life.
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